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IsoCat is an isolated control and sound card interface between transceiver and computer. All signal and control connections between the transceiver and the computer are optically- or transformer-coupled to prevent ground loop issues.

The control interface supports Icom, TenTec, and some Yaesu control ports that require combined signals as well as Yaesu and Kenwood control ports that require separate input and output control signals.

The USB interface provides power for the USB-serial IC, switching power supply, and opto-isolators. A switching power supply provides 5V DC to power the transceiver side of the interface through an isolation transformer and full-wave rectifier. Total power requirements are well below the 100 milliampere specified for USB 1.1 devices.

Transformers provide complete isolation between the transceiver and the computer audio systems. The sound card interface is also completely isolated from the control interface. Each side of the interface can be operated independently of the other. The sound card interface is compatible with any transceiver, even those with no control interface.

The transceiver supplies power for the transceiver side of the sound card interface. Power requirements are less than 10 milliamperes. Voltage should be between 8 and 15 volts. These requirements are met by most current Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu transceivers. Power could also be supplied by an external battery or power supply if you prefer. No power is required for the computer side of the sound card interface.

Kits are supplied with printed documentation for assembly and for operation. The three surface-mount components are installed on the board. Through-hole assembly of the remaining components on the board can usually be done in one or two evenings. Finishing the case, installing the labels, and assembling one cable should be completed in one evening.

All cables for most Icom transceivers are supplied. Cable components for other transceivers are available. Drivers, documentation, and some sample programs are supplied with the kits on a USB memory stick.